Under a 5-year Strategic Plan for Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET), structural reforms, including the setting up a TVET Service and TVET Council, will be undertaken.
In addition, under the plan, a whole division of the Ghana Education Service will be dedicated to technical and vocational education, which will have its own Director-General.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who made these known, disclosed that the perennial infrastructure problems of the TVET sector were being addressed and that work would soon start on the construction of 20 modern TVET institutions in various areas of the country.
Furthermore, President Akufo-Addo said, 35 National and Vocational Training Institutes as well as Colleges of Education that specialized in technology were being upgraded across the country, while a major revision of the curricula of TVET schools to make them relevant to the needs of the changing economy was underway.
He was delivering the keynote address at the National Conference on Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) at the Koforidua Technical University.
President Akufo-Addo said the strategy of his government was to expand technical and vocational training at both secondary and tertiary levels in order to strengthen the linkage between education and industry.
This, he said, would empower young people to deploy their skills that would enable them set up businesses and employ others.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Government considered technical and vocational training a critical and integral part to the development of the country's economy, as the structural economic transformation was hinged on technical and vocational education and training.
"What I envisage in the technical and vocational education sector would involve a truly radical change in attitude on the part of all of us. Throughout the years, enough lip service has been paid to the TVET sector," he said, adding "This time we are backing the talk with money and political will. This time, the interventions will be focused and seen through to proper conclusion."
The President expressed concern about the low regard in which technical and vocational skills and graduates in the country were held, the effect of which, he said, had been catastrophic.
On the other hand, he said, was the challenge of obsolete and inadequate facilities, and equipment, with equally obsolete academic curricula that did not keep up with contemporary labour needs at the technical and vocational training institutions.
In addition, the President said, the country did not also have enough qualified technical and vocational teachers and instructors, a situation compounded by the absence of tertiary degree awarding institutions that would train teachers in skills development.
Government, he said, would, therefore, soon launch a major educational project that would emphasize the importance of TVET, to erase the misconception that technical and vocational education was inferior, and patronized only by less endowed students.
"We are aligning and bringing all public TVET institutions in the country under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education to streamline their curricula and improve the co-ordination of their training. To this end, one Deputy Minister for Education is to be specifically responsible for technical and vocational education, like there is a dedicated Minister of State for Tertiary Education," he said.
President Akufo-Addo noted further that the success or failure of many of his administration's projects will depend on how TVET fared, and was hopeful that the conference would lead to the raising of interest among investors, who would collaborate with the institutions to bolster their technical capacity and strengthen skills training in the country.
The President told the gathering that his administration was determined to strengthen the Ghanaian economy, adding that a rapid improvement in skills development would quicken the pace of translating these signals into jobs and better quality of living.
He said the success of the government's flagship programme, 1-District 1-Factory, for example, was very much tied to the availability of the type of skilled workforce that TVET would produce.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)